The dates for the 2019 World Junior Lacrosse Championships have been set, and at the end of the month the 2019 location will also be announced! It’s going to be a huge year of news for the WJLC, and kicking things off we’ve learned that next summer, the 2019 World Junior Lacrosse Championships will be played from August 6th to the 11th. The 2018 games were a huge success and really well run, and 2019 is looking even better already.
With the announcement of a location coming soon and plenty more big news on the way, we thought it would be a good time to sit down with US Indoor Lacrosse’s (USIL) Graham D’Alvia to learn more about Team USA’s approach to the WJLC, and how they will fill out their team for 2019.
The US group was really competitive this past year, and while they finished third behind Canada and the Iroquois again, something was different this time around. USA box is on the rise these days and hopefully it only gets better from here! Check out our interview with Graham below to learn more and see how you or your players can get involved.
Connor: What is the driving focus behind this USIL World Juniors team? Are you building year over year, or does each year stand alone?
Graham D’Alvia: With each USIL team we put together, we as an organization learn many things on how to improve moving forward. Every year, our main focus is to improve the player as an individual, along with the team overall, which enables the player to succeed in their future lacrosse careers, on and off the field, as they progress in life.
As far as the team itself, we provide them with a professional level experience like they have never seen before. The players will receive the highest quality coaching, along with playing for Team USA, and they will also get unique pro level experiences on and off the turf. We strive to get them ready for continued success at the College/Pro level by providing the highest level experience and exposure to knowledge that we possibly can.
Connor: How does the US differ from the other World Junior countries? What is unique about the USIL approach?
Graham: To prepare for the World Junior Lacrosse Championship and the excellent opponents we will face, we focus on being as athletic as possible, and outpacing the other nations – we use our speed, toughness, and lacrosse ability to be the best. We realize that 99% of the US players we train are field-first players, and this is by no means a bad thing. We just work on teaching the player how to hone their skills in tighter spaces, and the majority of players that come to us convert into indoor lacrosse players very easily, simply because of their raw talent and ability. We find that once they play indoor with us most continue with box as their careers progress.
Connor: What is the format for the tryouts? What is the USIL looking for in players for the 2019 World Junior experience?
The tryout is a 1 day event, which is broken down into 2 – 3 sessions over the single day. Sessions begin at 10am. The players will receive limited instruction during the tryouts as we are evaluating their overall lacrosse ability, athleticism, ability to learn quickly and overall lacrosse IQ. We look for players that have and/or show a lot of skill. We look for guys that can protect themselves, as their safety is our number one priority. If we don’t feel player is able to play at the level of the opponents we know we will face, then we will not accept them for the team. It’s about making sure we find players who are truly ready for this next level experience.
Connor: When will the tryouts take place, and where will you host them?
Graham: We have a Tryout Series set up, and we have selected 4 locations for 4 different dates, listed below.
2019 World Junior Lacrosse – US Tryout Series
October 28, 2018 – Boston
November 18, 2018 – Denver
December 1, 2018 – Minnesota
May 26, 2019 – Philadelphia (Invite Only Training Camp)
We are hopeful that by providing these regional tryout opportunities to players throughout the entire country that the best players will be found for the 2019 U20 USA Junior Indoor Team.
We are very excited to see new players from different regions and look forward to the process of preparing to win. We challenge the players with the understanding that they were meant to be here and the moment is theirs, now take it, Go USA!!
For more info on the US Tryout Series, check out this article on the WJLC website.
Look for more exciting news from the 2019 World Junior Lacrosse Championships, and mark August 6th to the 11th on your calendars. This year is going to be even better than 2018 – big news still to come!